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Glenville explores planning area

Jackson County may have another community planning project on the horizon. Glenville residents have approached the county about possibly embarking on such a journey.

“That’s very initial-stages,” said Jackson County Planning Director Gerald Green, explaining that the county is currently discussing the concept with a handful of Glenville residents. “Right now, there’s probably 10 or 12 exploring it.”

Jackson currently has several community planning areas. Presently, they are working with the Cullowhee community on such a mission, which may eventually result in zoning regulations if county commissioners sign off on plans hatched via a series of community input sessions. 

The community of Glenville is a stretch down N.C. 107 from Cullowhee. It’s a lakeside haunt with many high-end properties.

“They just want to, I think, maintain the character of their community,” Green said of the Glenville effort. 

Jackson County Chuck Wooten said he recognized the possible need for planning in the Glenville area.

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“In many ways, the Glenville area has some of the same characteristics of the Cullowhee area, a lot of growth over the last several years without any guidelines to guide the growth,” Wooten said. “We have emphasized to the local organizing committee that they need to be as inclusive as possible with any conversations about asking for assistance in developing some planning guidelines.”

Carolyn Franz, president of Friends of Lake Glenville, is involved in the early conversations with the county about community planning. She said that those interested in the concept — a cross-section representing residents, businesses and churches — are taking the long view.

“It’s all about a goal, and the goal is to build a better community,” Franz said. “You solve problems and you look long term and you come up with a vision for your community.”

Green said that the county has only begun the conversation with the Glenville residents. More meetings are planned with the residents, where the group will grapple with issues such as defining what the boundaries of the Glenville community are. 

“If this moves forward, we have suggested they identify a small, manageable area to start with and expand the area if interest exists,” Wooten explained.

Wooten told county commissioners about the early conversations at a recent meeting. He said that any community planning in Glenville would have to wait until the planning project in Cullowhee wrapped up, meaning the conversation won’t be given the county’s full attention until sometime in 2015.

“We’ve also suggested that a petition may be the best way to demonstrate to the commissioners that there is serious interest in asking them to undertake this planning project,” Wooten said. 

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